Spanish food is world-famous and for good reason; with a vibrant mix of colours and textures and a delicate balance of flavours, this is cuisine worth travelling for. Spain is the only place to go to try some truly traditional Spanish dishes and Barcelona is the capital of Catalonian cuisine. An excellent starter to try is Pan con Tomate – bread, tomato and garlic – a staple of the Spanish diet. This does tend to vary from place to place, though, so it’s a good idea to buy it from one of the better restaurants.
While in Barcelona there are some dishes you ought to try such as fried, crispy artichoke shavings and chickpeas sautéed with baby squid. However, for the best in authentic Catalonian cuisine, be sure to visit Cervecería Catalana. This restaurant is not at all touristy yet tourist-friendly. The restaurant provides friendly service and is ideal for both small and large groups. You may have to queue but it’s well worth it for the huge range of tapas. Another great restaurant for tapas is Ciudad Condal but wherever you go be sure to try the Cava. This luxury drink is both refreshing and very affordable in this part of Spain.
As Barcelona is right on the sea, it’s no wonder it’s one of Spain’s top destinations for seafood. Top local dishes include marinated anchovies and chickpeas sautéed with baby squid. La Fonda del Port Olympic sits right on the harbour and is one of the best restaurants for seafood. Tabarca Langosta’s Club is also a great restaurant to go to if you’re a lobster lover. Run by Tino Martínez, a sailor and much-celebrated chef, it serves dishes cooked using recipes recovered from the island of Tabarca. Rías de Galicia is the place to go for oysters – serving both the biggest and the best. For the wine, be sure to order an Albariño from Galicia.
La Rambla is the main street in Barcelona. It’s very busy but also very interesting. It is important to watch your belongings here however, as pick-pocketing is rife. The cafes and restaurants on La Rambla may also be quite overpriced, but just off La Rambla is La Boqueria. La Boqueria is a functioning food market which sells meat and fish but also has stalls selling tapas, olives, sweets and every fruit juice you could imagine (and at a reasonable price too). As your nose will probably tell you, Plaça Reial is the perfect place to go to sample some of the best Spanish bakeries and patisseries. Packed full of freshly-baked bread, sweet treats, pizzas and sandwiches with cured meats, they are rather hard to avoid! Meringues are served with a spoon (so you know they’ll be good!) and the bakeries often have seating and serve coffee. They tend to focus on the sweeter end of the spectrum – with excellent Danishes, crème cakes, croissants and doughnuts. If you’re having trouble deciding between the last of these, be sure to try a cronut (a mix of croissant and doughnut). Barcelona is cronut crazy.